Windermere Marathon success!

Windermere Marathon 22nd May 2016 by Tracey Dutton

I only decided to enter Windermere Marathon about a month ago. I thought as I had done 4 marathons with Ben Smith and had been helping Susan train for Manchester Marathon, that with the mileage in my legs I should give it a go. So I entered myself into the Marathon and Hubby into half marathon. Windermere Marathon has a special place in my heart, it was mine and Jayne Taylor’s first marathon back in 2007. I ran Windermere again in 2009.

The weeks leading up to the marathon I listened to Jayne’s training advice and used Andy Eccles taper plan, which works everytime for me and carbo loaded. On the Saturday morning I had 2 breakfasts before we set off to Ambleside stopping at Leighton Moss for coffee and cake on the way before checking into our accommodation for the night. We walked 1 mile to Brathay Lodge to get our goody bags and our race numbers. I got all my kit ready for the next day. I had an evening meal with a small glass of red wine to relax me as I was bag of nerves before having a early night. I woke up at 4am, couldn’t sleep just kept thinking of the course. Got dressed and put loads of deep heat on my legs. Had small bowl of porridge and a toasted gluten free bun for breakfast, still felt sick with nerves. We parked the car up on field at Brathay Lodge. As I was waiting for the portaloo I heard someone shouting Tracey, I looked round and it was Karen from Eden Runners, we have been friends since 2007 at our first marathon. I ran and gave her a big hug and all my nerves disappeared.

At 9:45am we were drummed all the way down the hill from the Lodge to the main road to the start line. A guy dressed in tweed fired a rifle and off we went. I had forgotten how undulating the course was. After Hawkshead there was a very steep climb at 7.5 miles, my legs were burning, I told my legs come on we can get up this hill. I was thinking I have gone off too quick and reminded myself it’s a marathon you’re doing not a 10k, but my legs said you’re not slowing down. Half way up the hill I over took 2 guys and I could hear bag pipes, I thought that’s strange we are in middle of nowhere with just woods either side of the road, but as I got to top of the hill there was 2 bag pipers, which made me smile. I took energy gels on board every 5 miles just like Andy Eccles once told me. I was really pleased with my time at half way, which was 1:31. I carried on to Newby Bridge then on to Bowness were I over took a few more guys and the 10 in 10 runners. Before this it was a very lonely race, it was nice to see people cheering you on through Bowness and then on to Windermere, but it was a bit of hard work trying to dodge members of the public who were blocking the pavement. The hill at mile 20, which I had been dreading (this is the point I hit the wall on the first Windermere Marathon), was a doddle to the hills before this. We were then on our way to Ambleside along a busy road this was quite undulating as well. I over took a guy when we had 3 miles to go and remember saying to him “come on there’s only 3 miles to go” (I bet he wanted to tell me where to go). I got to Ambleside and thought I have got to give all my energy now to get up the big hill to the hall. It’s about 1/2 mile long, its such a cruel finish when you have no energy, but I found it just about. I was dying but as I saw the finish line I quicken my step and finished 3:08:53 (chip time), came first lady and 15th overall out of 526 runners. I was in total shock at my time, I just couldn’t believe it, I was hoping to get around 3:20. All round the course I had to work extra hard as I knew I was first lady from about 3 mile mark. I burst into tears when I saw hubby I was so emotional. I went to get changed, had a protein shake as I couldn’t face eating anything, went to get a coffee and had a good stretch. I had a chat to Jos (the famous fell runner) who gave me lots of advice, told me to lengthen my stride.


I have to do the race again next year now as I’ve got to give the trophy back, unless I do the half marathon.


We will see, at the moment my legs are saying never again.

Jubilee 5 mile road race

Wednesday 18th May is the first night of the Jubilee race series, a 5 mile road race on scenic undulating roads around Rivington.

Jubilee Race Series, registration at Rivington Village Club

Dates: Series of 4 races on Wednesdays – May to August at 7.30pm

Further details: JubileeRoadRaceSeries

Distance/Ascent: 5 miles 120 metres

Terrain: Road – Road shoe recommended

What you need to know: Two laps with a flat start with a hill in the middle. 200 metre finishing straight is off road and flat, perfect for practising the perfect sprint finish. Although on road it is very quiet and generally traffic free. Andy Kaufman has managed a podium finish in previous years even though he turned up expecting a trail race. Results and prizes are given out in the club afterwards. 

Liverpool 1/5/10k glory!

On Saturday 30th April, Team Wane made a pilgrimage to Sefton Park. Imogen was entered into the Kids 1km fun run. At the age of just 2years and 4 months, Imogen was becoming a veteran of running events having done 4 previously (Sport relief / Joining Jack). This however was her first run outside the Wigan area, apart from her dashing away from either Mel or myself at the first glimpse of freedom. Mel and I have always said we wanted her to be active so it was a good excuse for a day out.

We’d already seen Fitz win the 5km event in a new PB (great effort – well done mate).



Shortly after the 5km finished, it was Imogen’s turn and we were all lined up in the start funnel.

Soon after, we were off. Imogen was keen to get moving but the loud drums from the dragon band were making her uneasy (as were the crowds) so for the first few hundred meters or so she held our hand. The first chance she had, after the children had spread out, she was off. Around her were children of her own age and she was chirping away to herself. On many occasions she said, “I running!” or “Come on daddy / mummy!” To be honest, I think Mel and I were slowing her down! By the time we were about half way around, she bolted. She’s got a great turn of pace and it took me a few seconds to catch her up. As I was she was giggling away. I got close to her and she kicked again, no stopping but she carried on running! A big grin on her face, she was into her stride now. She carried on for easily 200-250m non-stop. Imogen was waving at marshals, swerving around and playing impromptu games of tig with Mel and me. Every time she caught us, she shouted, “Got you!” and laughed hysterically before running off again. The only time reason she eventually stopped running was that there was a family in front of us. Not being shy, she shouted, “Oh! I can’t get past!” She was racing them I think. I smiled politely as we went around them, Imogen laughed, I just hope she wasn’t goading them… We went around them and she was back running again. A few hundred meters later, she was starting to get tired, the smile still on her face though. She was now only 100m or so from the finish. She looked tiny on the path. Now she was dashing forward then stopping suddenly to recover. A few seconds later she’d be sprinting on ahead, stopping for a breather 10m or so further down. The small crowd were great, as were the marshals, shouting her name and when they did she waved, smiling constantly. Soon she was on the finish line and needed to be coaxed over it. She was more content to jump around on it. Eventually she crossed the line and got her medal. “My medal!” She told us, “I running.”

All in all a great time had. I’ve no idea how long it took. 15-20 minutes. It didn’t matter though, she’d had fun and that was the most important thing. She was very chuffed with her medal and wore it proudly. Personally, I really miss the buggy runs with her but I’m glad that she enjoys the fun runs. It makes up for it. The way she’s going though, I can see her beating me in the near during future runs. She’s quicker than she looks. I can’t wait for the next one with her. Probably the Joining Jack run before the Wigan 10k.

Psyching herself up before the 1km.


Getting into her stride.

Nearly there.

A dash for the line


Well done all Harriers of all ages across all three distances at Liverpool. 😀

The hills are alive with the sound of m…oaning!!!

Pauline Taylor’s tale of dodgy pre race carb loading….oh and some hills…

Back in 2012 before I joined Harriers I was looking to enter my first 10K as prior to that I had only ever ran 5K. I found the Blacksticks Blue 10K and I emailed the organisers to ask if it was a flat course! At this point I had only ever run on the flat. They told me it was undulating so I decided it wasn’t for me and I entered Tatton Park 10K instead which, by the way, also wasn’t flat despite the Race For Life organisers telling me it was !!!!! I then joined Harriers in Summer 2012 and hills became a regular part of my weekly training.

Recently I realised the Blacksticks Blue was coming around again and I mentioned it to Alan who has also recently started coming to Harriers and Downhill runners (Paul Carter reckons all their runs are flat by the way)!!!! Quite soon after I had mentioned it an email popped into my inbox and I decided fate meant I should enter it and lay my demons to rest! Alan confirmed that we were free that weekend so the entries were duly completed.

The next morning I realised we were actually at a wedding on the Saturday and we were staying overnight up towards Preston. We discussed pulling out and even not attending the wedding but realised that where we were staying was actually quite near to where the race was being held so we decided to go ahead and do the run. After the wedding in church we arrived at the Samelsbury Hotel and had lunch. I had my meatballs and pasta and Alan had a massive fish & chips . At the evening reception I was very excited when the chocolate fountain and sweet trolley opened. Strawberries, marshmallows, waffle and fudge dipped in chocolate isn’t probably the best pre-race meal followed by chilli rice tacos and fajitas (quite a strange choice for an evening wedding buffet but a change from Pork Pies and Sausage rolls I thought)! It was probably nearly 12.30am when we got to bed . We got up at 7am and went down to breakfast expecting it to be quite quiet at 8am on a Sunday morning. But Oh noooo – there was a coach party of OAPs all stood outside the breakfast room chomping at the bit to get in. They were like flies round Cow Sh.. Excuse me! When the doors opened they ran with their walking sticks and zimmers to grab a table and then to fill their plates with cooked breakfast! My stomach was churning at the thought or maybe from too much chocolate fountain ! Alan and me ordered our porridge and quickly departed.

It was a 25 min drive to Whitechapel Village Hall along very scenic country lanes. We were shown where to park and went to the Village Hall to collect our numbers. It was extremely well organised and not too busy with the added bonus of flushing toilets. We warmed up and then stood at the start. There was no chip timing or start mat, just the starter and we are off ! Within a few minutes there was a bit of a downhill and then a hill, followed by another, then another and guess what – then another!! In fact, the first three quarters was all uphill along Beacon Fell Road in a beautiful country Park. Not that I took in much of the scenery. It was also very hot. I grabbed a drink at the half way mark and plodded on panicking because I was fast walking the hills. I hadn’t realised at this point that a lot of people in front of me where Alan was were also walking the hills. I came across a lady called Paula walking up one of the hills and she filled me with confidence when she told me this race was the last 6 miles of her last 20 mile long run before the Edinburgh Marathon!!!! No wonder she was struggling . It didn’t make me feel very great! After a while the decent started but that’s not really easy for me with my knee. I rounded the last bend where there was a small crowd of supporters and I could see Alan waiting for me. I did a little spurt through the finish and I can honestly say I have never been so glad for a race to end.

In my opinion these race organisers need to redefine the word Undulating! This was a fell race but on Tarmac paths, if you see what I mean. I have to say though for those of you who love hills – and I mean one massive big one – this race was extremely well organised, not too big an entry and the refreshments, bacon barms and home made cakes for sale in the village hall afterwards would have been a delight if only my stomach had been up to it. The goody bag was a block of Blacksticks Blue cheese which made a nice change.


Alan did a respectable 55mins but did find it really hard and I came in at 1hr 9 mins 31secs – not a brilliant time but considering the heat and elevation I am OK with it. There were about 23 people finished behind me so that always makes me feel better.


I wonder what surprises the Crazy Cow will bring in a few weeks.

Captain’s Log

Membership Update from “The Captain” aka Dave Collins

With a new England Athletics affiliation year underway, it’s a good time to take stock of the membership situation and report the credits & debits.


The new membership year always sees a list of non renewals. Moving from the area, injury and that classic of “losing my mojo” are the most common reasons for people leaving the club. If you have lost a mojo, there are plenty of people at the Harriers Endurance Group who will help you look for it! Our best wishes go to David Darbyshire who has succumbed to the bright lights and high life of London, and to Anne Fitzpatrick who has chosen a relaxed lifestyle in the beautiful county of Cornwall. Good luck to you both in finding new running clubs.


Current membership stands at 107, there being 66 men and 41 women. At this same date last year, we had 82 members. A club isn’t all about numbers, but by any standards that is a phenomenal increase in size, particularly taking into account non-renewals. Very many thanks to everyone who has joined, and especially to those who train regularly – the bigger the training groups, the more accommodating they become.


Since the last update we have 14 new members. Welcome to Leanne Morgan-Hillam, Kev Rex, Dave Hartley, Anthony Ackers, Lisa Bryers, Susan Barnard, Martin Lang, Phil Sudworth, Kerry Williams, Chris Disley, Jessica Brookwell, Julie Valentine, Adrienne Barnes, and our youngest member Danny Yates. Some outstanding performances have already been registered by you, but keep turning that black and red vest out.


As always, remember that it is your club. If you have any suggestions as to how it could be improved, or would like to become more involved in any capacity, then speak up. Also, please keep your articles and race reports coming in, as these provide the face that the outside world sees. Hopefully, a happy smiley face 😀, unless you are racing!

Many thanks,



827 setting a good example with this classic race face, 851 you naughty boy!

Are you ready?

Wigan Trail 10k in it’s 5th year organised by Wigan Harriers is now open for entry.

Amberswood the setting for the race is known as one of Wigan’s Greenhearts so it should be no surprise to anyone what a fantastic area it is to run in, but surprised is what first timers often are. The ex mining land is now a blend of woodland, meadow and lakes which has developed into a very natural setting and is superb for running.


The majority of the race is on excellent tracks with the route taking in some of the fine woodland. What appeals to many runners is how good the tracks are to run on and helped by how flat the course is, it really helps produce some excellent times.


A water station is positioned halfway round the course run by some of our enthusiastic marshals.



The finish of the race is in front of the club house so an ideal spot for friends and family to watch the runners make the final dash for the line, cheering them home. They can then all enjoy a refreshing drink whilst the pies are baking in the oven. It’s usually a fantastic day for everyone.


We look forward to welcoming runners of all abilities to join at Amberswood and encourage you to pre-enter today.

For more details including how to enter please use this link.